Pange lingua, WAB 31

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Pange lingua
Motet by Anton Bruckner
Bruckner's Pange lingua (1891).jpg
Autograph manuscript of the work (1891 version)
KeyC major
CatalogueWAB 31
TextPange lingua
  • c. 1835 (c. 1835): Hörsching (first version)
  • 19 April 1891 (1891-04-19): Vienna (second version)
DedicationCelebration of Corpus Christi
Published1927 (1927): Regensburg
VocalSATB choir

Pange lingua (Tell, my tongue), WAB 31, is a sacred motet composed by Anton Bruckner in c. 1835. It is a setting of the first strophe of the Latin hymn Pange lingua for the celebration of Corpus Christi.


Bruckner composed the motet in c. 1835 when, as eleven-year-old boy, he was studying by Johann Baptist Weiß in Hörsching.[1][2][3] It is not known whether it was performed at that time. In 1891, towards the end of his life, Bruckner "restored" this beloved very first composition.[4]

The first version of the work, the original manuscript of which is lost, was found as a transcription by Franz Bayer, Steyr. The transcription of the first version and the manuscript of the 1891 version are stored in the archive of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.[1][2]

The second version of the motet was first published as a facsimile in 1927 by Max Auer in his book Anton Bruckner as Kirchenmusiker.[5] The first version was first published in band II/1, p. 228 of the Göllerich/Auer biography.[1][2] The two versions are put in Band XXI/1 and 39 of the Gesamtausgabe.[6]


The work is a setting of 28 bars in C major of the first verse of the Pange lingua for mixed choir a cappella.

On 19 April 1891 Bruckner made some "restoration" of the work. The differences between the two versions are small, mainly a different articulation in bars 15 and 22, and a reharmonisation of bars 25-27.


First version[edit]

There is a single commercial recording of the first version:

  • Philipp von Steinäcker, Vocalensemble Musica Saeculorum, Bruckner: Pange lingua - Motetten - CD: Fra Bernardo FB 1501271, 2015

Second version[edit]

There is a single recording of the 1891 version:

  • Jonathan Brown, Ealing Abbey Choir, Anton Bruckner: Sacred Motets – CD: Herald HAVPCD 213, 1997


  1. ^ a b c C. van Zwol, pp. 699-700
  2. ^ a b c U. Harten, p. 329
  3. ^ C. Howie, Chapter I, p. 12
  4. ^ C. van Zwol, p. 709
  5. ^ M. Auer, p. 184
  6. ^ Gesamtausgabe - Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke


  • Max Auer, Anton Bruckner als Kirchenmusiker, G. Bosse, Regensburg, 1927
  • August Göllerich, Anton Bruckner. Ein Lebens- und Schaffens-Bild, c. 1922 – posthumous edited by Max Auer by G. Bosse, Regensburg, 1932
  • Anton Bruckner – Sämtliche Werke, Band XXI: Kleine Kirchenmusikwerke, Musikwissenschaftlicher Verlag der Internationalen Bruckner-Gesellschaft, Hans Bauernfeind and Leopold Nowak (Editor), Vienna, 1984/2001
  • Uwe Harten, Anton Bruckner. Ein Handbuch. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg, 1996. ISBN 3-7017-1030-9.
  • Cornelis van Zwol, Anton Bruckner 1824–1896 – Leven en werken, uitg. Thoth, Bussum, Netherlands, 2012. ISBN 978-90-6868-590-9
  • Crawford Howie, Anton Bruckner - A documentary biography, online revised edition

External links[edit]